Eintracht Frankfurt played their first very official match in competitive European football on 11 November 1959. This was a European Cup first round game against BSC Young Boys of Switzerland. The match ended in a 4–1 away victory for the Eagles. However, a Frankfurt XI took part already earlier in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup with several Eintracht players in the squad.
The club's first ever match against European opponents however, was a friendly match against Swedish side Malmö FF in 1920 when the Scanians visited Germany.
In season 1959–60 Eintracht took part in the European Cup. In this season they became the first German club to reach a European final, eventually losing 7–3 to Real Madrid.
In the 1966–67 season the club played in the Intertoto Cup which they finally won, facing Inter Bratislava in the final. Plus in the same season Eintracht played in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and reached the semi-finals. In 1967 the Eagles won the Coppa delle Alpi, a tournament then composed of Italian, Swiss and German teams.
Frankfurt's first appearance in the renamed UEFA Cup was in 1972, the first step in the Cup Winners' Cup stage was made in 1974.
In the 1979–80 edition of the UEFA Cup Eintracht reached the finals. The first leg was lost at fellow German club Borussia Mönchengladbach, but the second leg was decided by the send on striker Fred Schaub in the 81st minute and secured the Mainhattan club the first major European title.
In the 1980s the club struggled to participate regularly in European competitions.
Between the beginning to the mid-1990s the Eagles re-established themselves as a powerhouse in Europe and advanced far in the UEFA Cup regularly with players such as Uwe Bein, Jay-Jay Okocha, Uli Stein, Ralf Weber and Tony Yeboah on the books.
After the relegation from the Bundesliga in the 1995–96 campaign, Eintracht bounced between the first two tiers for almost ten years.
Since 2005 they were part of the first Bundesliga again and immediately qualified for the UEFA Cup due to the participation in the DFB Cup final against Bayern Munich who were already qualified for the Champions League. In the following UEFA Cup campaign Eintracht reached the group stage and seemed to be likely to advance to the next round but conceded two goals at Fenerbahçe after being up 2–0 what meant that Eintracht had to defer to the Istanbul club.
In 2013 Eintracht played in at Bordeaux with 12,000 fans from Frankfurt and about 8,000 Bordeaux supporters).